Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
October 21, 2014

High Number Arrests For Low-Level Offenses

Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Missouri State Senator Arrested During Ferguson Protests

Jamilah Nasheed
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Man On Death Row Because In Texas, Being Black Means You're Dangerous?

Black Man Prison
Erika Kyte via Getty Images

Michael Rapaport Squashes Beef With Spike Lee

Michael Rapaport Spike Lee
James Devaney via Getty Images

Can Rand Paul Get 30 Percent Of The Black Vote In 2016?

Rand Paul
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How Becoming The First African NBA General Manager Inspires Masai Ujiri To Give Back

Nba Cares
NBA

Reggae Legend John Holt Dies

John Holt Reggae
David Corio via Getty Images

Nigeria Is Officially Ebola-Free After Containing Virus

Ebola Nigeria
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI via Getty Images

Why Are Black Women Dying of Breast Cancer, Even Though More White Women Are Diagnosed?

Tiffany Jones Pink
Andrew H. Walker via Getty Images

40 Contemporary African Artists Take On Dante's 'Divine Comedy'

Wangechi

For Battered NFL Wives, A Message From The Cops And The League

Ray Rice Janay
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Congressional Hearing On Ebola Was 'Shameful,' Janet Napolitano Says

Capitol
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Russian Tennis Czar Insults Williams Sisters

Serena Venus Williams
Elsa via Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pens Scathing Dissent On Texas Voter ID Law

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Liberian Leader Warns Ebola Risks Causing A 'Lost Generation'

Ebola Liberia
John Moore via Getty Images

Obama Moves Into Campaign Mode

Obama
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Joanne Borgella Dies At 32

Joanne Borgella
Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

Why Vonderrit Myers Matters

Vonderrit Myers Family
Scott Olson via Getty Images

NIH Official: Budget Cuts Can't Be Blamed For Lack Of Ebola Vaccine

Ebola Outbreak
ZOOM DOSSO via Getty Images

Michael Dunn Sentenced To Life In Prison

Michael Dunn
ASSOCIATED PRESS

I Am a Liberian. I Am Not a Virus.

I Am Liberia
Let Girls Lead

Darren Wilson Says He Feared For His Life: Report

Michael Brown
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law

Supremes
Getty

Stacey Dash: Minorities Feel 'Worthless,' 'Uneducated' Under Obama

Stacey Dash
YouTube

Greatest Magazine Cover Of 2014?

Lupita
Courtesy

Cliven Bundy Challenges Eric Holder In Video Endorsing Black Congressional Candidate

Cliven Bundy
David Becker via Getty Images

Nigerian Girls' Hometown Cautiously Hopeful For Their Release

Chibok
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI via Getty Images

Kobe Bryant Calls ESPN 'A Bunch Of Idiots'

Kobe Bryant
Jeff Gross via Getty Images

Stop And Frisk Linked To Trauma And Anxiety In Young Men

Stop And Frisk
ASSOCIATED PRESS

From Civil War In Sudan To The Silver Screen

Ger Duany Emmanuel Jal
Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP

Still No Charges 3 Months After Eric Garner's Chokehold Death

Eric Garner
STAN HONDA via Getty Images

Facebook Fight Allegedly Led To 3-Year-Old's Fatal Shooting

Amiracle Williams
WDIV-TV

GOP Congressman Gets Boost From Racially Charged Ad

Ashford
NRCC

Ebola Panic Reaches College Campuses

Ebola University
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Do 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Benefit Black Defendants?

Todd Rutherford South Carolina
ASSOCIATED PRESS

These 5 Scary Obamacare Predictions Were Dead Wrong

Obamcare Fact Check
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Walmart Yanks Ammo From Shelves Of Stores Near Ferguson

Walmart Ferguson
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Ebola Outbreak In Senegal Is Officially Over

Ebola Sierra Leone
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Arizona Same-Sex Marriage Ban Declared Unconstitutional

Gay Marriage
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Report: Nigeria And Boko Haram Reach Cease-Fire

Shekau
AP

Blake Griffin: 'Donald Sterling Didn't Care If We Won'

Blake Griffin
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Exonerated Man David McCallum On How The World's Changed Since He Went To Prison In 1985

David Mccallum
JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images

Ebola Epidemic Could Lead To 'Hunger Crisis Of Epic Proportions' For West Africa

Liberia Ebola
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Laverne Cox Weighs In On Trans Writer Debate

Laverne Cox
Brad Barket via Getty Images

These Are The Celebrities Stepping Up To Fight Ebola

Celebs Take On Ebola
Ebola Survival Fund

He's A Veteran, A College Student And Homeless

Military Veteran College
DON EMMERT via Getty Images

Meet One Of The Thousands Of Drug Offenders Hoping Obama Will Shorten Their Prison Terms

Donel Clark
c/o Donel Clark

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    1. HuffPost
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. View all RSS feeds

Macy Gray Says She Was 'A Massive A**hole'

Macy Gray On Where Are They Now
OWN

Afroman: 'After Marijuana Is Legalized, I'm Not A Criminal'

Afroman
HuffPost Live

North West Heads To A Pumpkin Patch In Leather Pants

North West Pumpkin Patch
Instagram

Tyra Banks Proves You Can Be A Feminist And A Runway Model

Tyra Banks
Michael Tran via Getty Images

Beyonce Dons A Floral Romper For Night Out With Adele

Beyonce
Keith Hewitt via Getty Images

Jada Pinkett Smith Brought A Man On A Leash To Her 'Gotham' Audition

Jada Pinkett Smith
Nomi Ellenson via Getty Images

'SNL' Nails Important Point About Aid Programs In Africa In Hilarious Sketch

Saturday Night Live 39 Cents
Saturday Night Live / YouTube

Drake Shoots Hoops, Becomes Jimmy From 'Degrassi' Again

Drake
C Flanigan via Getty Images

LeBron James Returns To Akron

Lebron
Beats by Dr. Dre

Here Are The Most Progressive 2 Minutes Of TV This Season

Viola Davis How To Get Away With Murder
Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

Jordin Sparks Wants You To See Her Without Makeup

Jordin Sparks
Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images

How One Artist Is Single-Handedly Changing The Way We See Death Row

Elkins

WATCH
Chris Rock's New Movie Gets A Really Funny Trailer

Top Five Trailer
Paramount

Sheryl Lee Ralph Breaks Down Her 24th Annual 'DIVAS Simply Singing!'

Sheryl Lee Ralph
Paul Archuleta via Getty Images

Iggy Finally Gets An Apology From Snoop Dogg

Iggy Azalea
Gary Miller via Getty Images

PHOTOS
Fly Rudeboys Remind Us What Cool Looks Like

Bevan Agyeman
Dean Chalkley

Nick Cannon Responds To Amber Rose Relationship Rumors

Nick Cannon
Tommaso Boddi via Getty Images

Let Kerry Washington Be Your Guide To 'No Makeup' Makeup

Kerry Washington
Instagram

The Best Worst Answer Ever On 'Family Feud'

Penis
Family Feud

'Real Housewives Of Atlanta' Star Confirms Pending Divorce To Husband

Phaedra Parks
ELLEN

Afroman Updates 'Because I Got High' For Legalization

Afroman
YouTube

LOOK
Pharrell Channels Michael Jackson On 'Dear Girl' Tour

Pharrell Williams
Courtesy of Swarovski

Erykah Badu Made This Much Singing On NYC Sidewalk

Erykah Badu Singing
Karl Walter via Getty Images

Harlem Globetrotters Ride The Subway; Passengers Have A Ball

Globetrotters
AOL/Huffington Post Video

Major Decision Made In Teddy Pendergrass Estate Battle

Teddy Pendergrass
Ebet Roberts via Getty Images

Quvenzhané Wallis Has Her Fingers Crossed For Another Oscar Nod

Quvenzhane Wallis
Evan Agostini /Invision/AP

Rappers with Cameras

Thig Nat
Thig Nat

North West Is Even Cuter With Little Cat Ears On

North West Kardashian
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff via Getty Images

'The Book Of Negroes' Adapted Into Miniseries For BET Debut

The Book Of Negroes
BET/eOne

Painting the Desert: Urban Artists In The Navajo Nation

Desert

Black History Month: Black Gives Back Blog Talks Black Philanthropy

Comments (15)


Tracey Webb is a young black woman making history as the first online chronicler of black philanthropy. Most people think of big names like Oprah or Diddy when blacks donating money comes to mind – but this is hardly the extent of African American social generosity. African American philanthropists come from every economic bracket, have existed throughout our history and are not all famous. The founder of BlackGivesBack.com, Ms. Webb works tirelessly through her blog to ensure that the world is informed about the large and complex world of black philanthropy. To celebrate Black History Month, Tracey took some time to talk with Black Voices about the importance of African Americans supporting each other through community service and financial grants, and why black philanthropy is critical to our future.

What made you decide to start Black Gives Back? What spawned your interest in black philanthropy?

I come from a family of givers. I've been working with non-profit organizations and volunteering my time ever since I was a little girl. I also believe it comes from my family lineage. I majored in psychology for both undergrad and grad school, and then worked in direct services with teen parents, substance abusers and the homeless. As I moved further along in my career, I noticed that a lot of the organizations that I worked with were serving African Americans, while the people who were on the boards of directors, and the people who were raising the fund, were white. So I decided at that point that I wanted to get into grant-making and philanthropy. My full-time job now is working as a grant-maker.

Then a few years ago my friends kept bugging me to start a blog. I thought about it for a while, and it took me three months to come up with a name and the concept. BlackGivesBack.com was born in 2007 as a natural extension of my charitable efforts.


Given that it's Black History Month, let's talk about the relationship between black philanthropy and black activism. Do you see a connection in history?

Oh definitely. I was reading a book recently about African American philanthropy and this connection to black activism. The roosts of black philanthropy were actually sparked as a reaction to slavery. Our forefathers pooled their resources to help slaves gain freedom, and also to support them once they became free. There were so many mutual aid societies, churches and schools that were established with those funds. When you look at black history, it is a lot of black philanthropy. People always talk about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, but a lot of people don't know that she pooled her resources with others' to establish homes and provide education after slaves became free. So it wasn't just about getting people free. She also provided those services to help people get where they needed to be.

Is Black History Month still a useful and purposeful way to celebrate our achievements?

I don't think it's bad. I think it's important and is needed. But I would like to see more of a spotlight on our living legends, people who are making history that are still living. We always seem to focus on the past. But there are so many people who are still living. We could tap into their wisdom, they could talk to youth. Like Ruth Simmons, the first black president of Brown University, and the surviving Tuskegee Airmen. We just need to broaden our scope and bring to light these hidden gems.

What is your favorite black philanthropy and who would you say is the biggest black philanthropist of all time?

I'm going to be biased because I have my own charity! My favorite black organization is mine. I founded a giving circle in 2005, which is a group of individuals who pool their monies for a given cause. It's called The Black Benefactors. We just gave out our first grants recently totaling $10,000, so I'm really, really excited, because it's been almost five long years in the making. I'm also happy to say that all the organizations that we funded are African American-led. And even though we are called The Black Benefactors, people think you have to be black to join – not true! We have members of different races.
[In terms of my favorite black philanthropist of all time], I'm not going to say a celebrity. Oseola McCarty was a woman who saved up her money for years and when she passed away she left $150,000 [to the University of Southern Mississippi] for students to further their education. She is probably the most inspirational, because she showed that you do not have to be rich in order to give back to your community. She saved up her money for years, and she did not tell anyone. She worked washing clothes. Her gift shocked everybody. That's how passionate she was about helping students.

Then there are also lesser known, but prominent, African Americans like Eddie and Sylvia Brown. Eddie Brown has donated $5 million to the Baltimore public school system [to help African American students]. At the Maryland Institute College of Art this African American couple has a building in their name – The Eddie and Sylvia Brown Center. They donated $7 million to this organization.

You profile many celebrities on Black Gives Back. Do you have a favorite story of working with a celebrity or their organization?

Now, Kanye catches a lot of flack. But I will say that when I met the staff of his foundation, they are awesome people who know their stuff. When I talked to Kanye's mother briefly before she passed, I asked her "how did you select the people to run your organization." And she said, even before Kanye became famous, he wanted to give back. He was always concerned about when they were going to give back.


The singer Mya has a foundation that is a camp for kids in DC. I went to one of their year-end celebrations. You can really tell that Mya loves what she does with the kids and is very passionate about her foundation.

What do you see as the connection between black philanthropy and our future as a community?

Black philanthropy is essential for our future. It is being predicted that by 2050 communities of color with constitute over half of the population. We definitely need to ensure now that we will have resources available for us. It's still unfortunately the case that many organizations that primarily serve African American communities are headed by whites who are not connected to communities of color. Very few of the major foundations have people of color on their boards. One that does is Target. Laysha Ward is the head of their philanthropic efforts. So we do have some that are in those very important positions. We just need to support the people and organizations in place now, and make sure that we are in control of the funds that will serve our community.

What is the connection between giving and greatness?

There is definitely a connection between giving and greatness. It's even in the Bible. Everybody has something to give. Even if you don't have money, you can use your talents. Whatever you're good at, you can use that to benefit an organization. Just using whatever you have to help others who are less fortunate than you makes you a great person. When you give, it just makes you feel better. And when you give, you will get it back.

Comments: (15)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 2

Add a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed but they are required to confirm your comments. When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password."

Most Commented Articles

Get Closer to BV

  • slider Image
  • slider Image
  • slider Image

BLACK MUSIC NEWS
The latest news and updates on a multitude of music stars.
Check It Out!

BLACK MUSIC NOTES

       

MEN OF MCCAFÉ SEARCH
McDonald's continues its nationwide search to find five community-service minded black men during this year's CIAA tournament.


LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN

       
 

Find a Message Board

Discover conversations on everyone from Barack to Beyonce. There are nearly 50 forums, so click on a category below and find the right one for you.